12/31/2014 3:49PM

NYRA establishes workout rules


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Following the ontrack death last Saturday of Wicked Irish – a horse who had not raced in two years and who showed one workout in the interim – the New York Racing Association on Wednesday announced new workout criteria for horses who race at its three racetracks.

A horse coming off a layoff of 90 days or more and racing at Aqueduct, Belmont or Saratoga must have three published works, including one of at least a half-mile, and must have two works within 30 days of the start.

Horses which have not raced in 60 days will require two works, including one of at least a half-mile, and one work within 30 days of the start. Horses who have not raced in 30 days will require one work of at least three-eighths of a mile.

First-time starters, including 2-year-olds, must have three works – one of at least a half-mile in the last 45 days – and must be gate approved.

The workout requirement will be waived for foreign horses entering a stakes race within seven days of clearing USDA quarantine, provided that their native racing jurisdiction has no provision for timed workouts.

Horsemen seeking to run a horse not meeting the workout requirements must obtain permission from the stewards.

The new criteria go into effect beginning with the races of Jan. 28. The reason for the delay is that the condition books for races through Jan. 25 have been published, according to Dan Eidson, NYRA’s racing secretary.

“It’s a significant rule change and we want to give people plenty of time to assimilate it,” Eidson said.

On Saturday, Wicked Irish became the eighth racing-related fatality since Aqueduct’s inner track opened on Dec. 3. The 5-year-old ridgling had not raced since Dec. 17, 2012, and had one workout, a half-mile in 50.60 seconds on Dec. 21, prior to Saturday’s race. He ran a quarter of a mile before breaking down.

cherney19 More than 1 year ago
now if you can start suspending trainers for one year and then life for the second drug violation we might be on to something.
Jamie Murphy More than 1 year ago
so can a horse coming off a 1 year layoff go 3f in 50 3f in 49 and 4f in 112? this may protect a bettor a little, but does it really do anything to solve the problem that was had with wicked irish? another thing is all these horses training at these private tracks, with no information provided, the bettor is being screwed. the connections may know its a good bet, with the public being blindfolded. giving connections great odds to bet at, like the huge purses aren't enough for them!
mikey More than 1 year ago
WOW NYRA yor can do something right every 40 years.
aldo noble More than 1 year ago
all the things to protect horses and public are welcome
aldo noble More than 1 year ago
All the things to protect horses and public are welcome
harpharper . More than 1 year ago
Centuries of racing in New York and they just now came up with this?
Girl fromMars More than 1 year ago
every year is the same thing with Aqueduct. a lot of fatalities there. something must be done, fixed whatever. obviously there's something wrong with that surface.
robert bertz More than 1 year ago
Last season I cannot recall one fatality on the inner dirt. Several of the fatalities this season were from horses who clipped heels with another horse and were injured. There is nothing wrong with the surface. It sounds like the horse in the article was not very sound to begin with. Blame should be put upon the connections.
mikeg More than 1 year ago
Obviously you are an idiot who posts ridiculous comments without knowledge of why these horses are being put down.
Mike More than 1 year ago
It took them all this time to make a sensible policy? Shame! How could these people allow a horse to run with one work coming off a 2 yr lay-off? DESPERATE!